Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth…Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
It is with great sadness that the family of Russell Rennie announces the passing of their beloved father, grandfather and great-grandfather, following a brief illness.
Russ was born in Brandon, Manitoba, in January 1922, moving with his family to Winnipeg soon after. He enlisted in the RCAF in 1941 and in 1942 arrived in England, where he served as a radar technician until the end of the war. He was stationed primarily at Marston Moore near York, and it was there that he met his future wife Winifred Buckley, to whom he was married for 63 years until her death in 2008. Russ spent most of his career in the Calgary oil patch, and he and Win retired to Abbotsford, BC in 1984 and moved to White Rock in 2003.
Russ believed in helping others, and engaged in community life in a number of capacities: as a member and director of the Anglican Refugee Society and L’Arche Calgary (Marymount home), and as a founding member of Learning Plus for Seniors in Abbotsford. Russ was above all a man of integrity, and was sustained throughout his life by a deep and abiding faith in God. He was also blessed with a quick wit, a ready sense of humour, keen curiosity and natural gregariousness, all of which earned him many friends over his lifetime.
He spent his last five years at the Pacific-Carlton retirement residence, where he continued to make new friends into his nineties. He did not let his vision loss and increasing frailty slow him down, and with his customary positive outlook, embraced any new technology that would allow him to remain independent.
He became computer literate in his early eighties, and by 2005 had completed his memoirs, a 110-page look back at his life, replete with maps, photos and newspaper clippings sourced online, a gift he created for his children and grandchildren, and, in his words, his ‘successors ad infinitum’.
Russ was predeceased by his wife Winifred in 2008. He is survived by four daughters and sons-in-law: Jane (Fred) Kline, Nan (Boyd) Clarke, Paula Rennie (Marc Thibaudeau) and Patricia (Dick) Stel, as well as 11 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren. He will also be missed by his many friends at the Pacific Carlton.
Russ died peacefully at Peace Arch Hospice in White Rock, BC. Cremation has taken place and Russ will be remembered at a family celebration at a later date.
The family wishes to express their sincere appreciation for the wonderful care Russ received from his home care providers and Peace Arch Hospice, and the ready assistance and kindness of all staff at the Pacific Carleton during his time there.
For online condolences, please go to www.myalternatives.ca.
To live is Christ, to die is gain. Philippians 1:21